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Japanese Silver Grass

Japanese silver grass is one of the most popular ornamental grasses in the United States. It grows well in northern climates.

This tall green and white clump of graceful leaves will bloom in late summer with airy tassels of pinkish-white flowers. The flowers dry to a silvery white. The green and white variegated foliage is also a treat for the eye.

In the fall it turns from its summer tones to a rich orange, red and copper display before fading to a wheaten shade for winter. The foliage holds up well in winter, offering interesting forms in the wind and snow. Enjoy this ornamental grass wherever you want a focal point or low screen.

Using Silver Grass in Your Landscape

Japanese silver grass is a good choice for a border or woodland garden. Mix it with other plants or use it alone to create a lovely drift of movement. The beautiful blooms look nice in cut arrangements, both fresh and dried.

This plant attracts birds and resists deer. Use it to edge a meadow or rock garden. Every breeze will cause a beautiful dance through the leaves, creating a soothing rustling. Use Japanese silver grass as a background for dwarf shrubs and perennials.

Likewise, it makes a wonderful vertical accent among low growing plants. Use with evergreens and other native trees in naturalized gardens. Plant near water features to provide shelter for wildlife or to hide mechanical pumps. Plant them in containers to decorate porches or terraces.

Planting And Care Tips

Japanese silver grass loves full sun. While it can tolerate some shade, it tends to flop over if it doesn't get enough light. In full sun it will grow upright with gracefully arching foliage.

Water it regularly until it is well established.

Afterwards, it is tolerant of some dry conditions. This grass holds up well to coastal conditions. Divide the clump every two or three years in early spring to control size. Prune dead foliage in early spring before new growth begins.

Leave the old growth throughout the winter for visual interest and to protect the crown of the plant from freezing.

Grass Information

  • Scientific Name: Miscanthus sinensis 'Variegatus'

  • Best Soil: Sandy, well-drained

  • Light Needs: Full sun to partial shade

  • Growth Rate: Moderate

  • Foliage Color: Creamy white and yellow variegated

  • Flower Color: Pink, white

  • Bloom Time: Mid-September

  • Mature Size: Grows 4 to 7 feet tall and 3 to 4 feet wide in a clump

  • Watering: Regular watering until established; can tolerate dry conditions later

  • Hardiness Zone: 4 - 9

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